The Importance of Proper Hydration

The Importance of Proper Hydration

As we end what has proven to be a record-breaking summer in terms of hot weather it doesn’t look like the heat is about to let up anytime soon.

Despite drinking plenty of water many of us have felt really dehydrated this summer.   Staying active despite the heat is great but it can really deplete the body’s electrolyte balance and sometimes water alone isn’t enough.

Since water makes up more than half the average body weight our cells need a proper amount of water to function properly.  Dehydration can be very serious and affects the body in many ways

Symptoms of dehydration:

  • Lack of energy
  • Hunger /thirst
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Dry skin
  • Dark urine
  • Lack of urination
  • Confusion, loss of consciousness

 Causes of dehydration:

  • Heat
  • Exercise
  • Excessive sweating
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Fever, vomiting and/or diarrhea

Tips to help you stay hydrated:

  1. Always have water with you.  I keep a fresh water bottle in my car and make sure I drink it on the way to work and another on the way home.  This simple habit gives me a full litre of water just while commuting
  2. If you are hungry, have some water.  Thirst often feels like hunger so try rehydrating first.
  3. Exercise during cooler times of day
  4. Drink sufficient water before, during and after any activity or time exposed to heat.
  5. Eat a healthy diet being mindful of high sugar and salt content.  Also, remember that alcohol and caffeine dehydrate the body. 
  6. Rehydrating IV therapy is a great way to get the right balance of electrolytes back into your body.  If you are struggling with dehydration, exercising regularly despite the heat or have a hard time keeping cool in this hot weather, an IV might be a great solution for you
  7. Make your own electrolyte drink.  Store bought sports drinks designed for dehydration contain a ton of sugar, artificial flavours and food colouring. 

Making your own is simple:

  • 2 cups of plain water or coconut water
  • ¼ – ½ cup natural juice such as lemon or orange juice
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. raw honey, agave nectar or pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt (this is a great source of trace minerals – pink Himalayan salt contains 84 trace minerals!)

Enjoy, have fun and stay hydrated!

Dr. Heidi Rootes,
Naturopathic Physician, Medical Aesthetics Doctor, owner of the IV wellness